Local Member for South Perth, Mr John McGrath, has renewed pressure on the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Hon. Alannah MacTiernan, to make a decision on the future of Canning Highway.
Mr McGrath said nearly 20 years had elapsed since it was identified that the 40 metre reservation, for a proposed widening of Canning Highway, could be reduced. Contrary to the original reservation of land, made in 1981, authorities felt that there was no need to widen the highway to six lanes.
“We now have a situation where we have this large amount of reserved land along Canning Highway, between Berwick Street and Canning Bridge, but the Minister is still keeping us guessing about her plans for the strip.”
Mr McGrath said he had been questioning the Minister on the matter since his election in 2005 and had continually been met with a ‘not yet, not yet’ response.
“Canning Highway and Stirling Highway are two of the best known roads in Western Australia but sadly the section of Canning Highway that runs through my electorate has been neglected.”
Most recently Mr McGrath spoke about the issue in Parliament during his response speech to the Premier’s opening statement, reiterating complaints generated to his office about the shocking, and often dangerous, traffic conditions along Canning Highway as well as the concerns of property owners, and prospective property owners, about the implications of the land reserve on their property rights.
Mr McGrath used the opportunity to again put the key questions to the Minister in Parliament:
“Where are we going with the Network City plan? I ask the Minister whether it has been stalled? What improvements to Canning Highway can the residents of South Perth look forward to?”
Canning Highway has been identified as an activity corridor by the Government’s “Network City: Community Planning Strategy for Perth and Peel”, marking it as a valuable commodity for the future development of Perth. Ironically though, the reservation of land has stifled the development of properties along the highway.
“The sense is that this is simply not a priority and now that the Government has conceded that the Network City Strategy has not been successful I can only guess this means more delays for Canning Highway,” Mr McGrath said.
Mr McGrath said the Government owned 77 properties covering a total of 5.25 hectares on Canning Highway between Berwick Street & Canning Bridge.
“The Carpenter Government has repeatedly procrastinated with making a final decision on the future of the road reserve, sitting on a stockpile of valuable properties and generating considerable uncertainty among private landholders. The Carpenter Government’s stalling is to the detriment of the electorate and needs to be addressed immediately.”